Posts Tagged ‘learning’

Our Little Shadows

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Remember the childhood poem “I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me”? Grandpa has one of those. It just isn’t his own shadow. It is actually Nature Boy.

Nature Boy adores his Grandpa. He wants to see and do everything that Grandpa does. There are a couple of problems with this. One – he is only four years old. And two – he is developmentally delayed. So everything he does to imitate Grandpa or to ‘help’ him turns out to be not so helpful after all. Grandpa spends a lot of his time at the computer so Nature Boy often sits with him and stares at that computer as if he knows all about it. Every now and then – when Grandpa isn’t looking – he pushes all kinds of buttons which sometimes delete things Grandpa really doesn’t want deleted. He follows Grandpa into the garage and ‘helps’ him repair little rocking chairs or other toys that have been overused.

One of Nature Boy’s favorite things is a cord that he can flap up and down like bird wings. Grandpa has all kinds of tie-downs, power tools, and extention cords that suit him perfectly. He happily flaps them up and down and, sometimes sneaks them out of the garage and into other places in the house. Then we get to hear Grandpa complaining ‘All right, where did you put them this time?” But, Nature Boy, being developmentally delayed, doesn’t talk. He just stands there looking innocent.

Anyone with small children has variations of this scene in their homes as well. Little girls watch Mommy and try to cook, dress and put on make-up. (My make-up gets hidden whenever possible to keep Princess from ‘borrowing’ it). Little boys the world over try to fix cars, paint houses, or otherwise imitate Daddy.

It’s a joy to watch them try to be like us. We smile when our little girls rock their dolls to sleep and we hear them say ‘go night night, sweet baby’. We know they are learning to love and cherish their young.

We laugh to see our little boys sitting at the computer table moving the mouse and clicking away.  They can be so much fun sometimes.

Then there are the other times. Times when we see and hear things we aren’t so proud of.  That time when I hear our Princess use a tone of voice when talking to her friends that sounds so unkind but sounds a lot like me. Or the times when we hear those not-so-special words that shouldn’t be used around children but are coming out of our children’s mouths. The ones that sort of slip out on occasion.

We love our little ones with all our hearts. I’m sure you love yours as well. If we want them to be the truly great men and women of tomorrow, we need to show them how. It might be time to take stock of ourselves.  Do a little self-improvement.

August 9th Quote of the Day

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Here is the test to find whether your mission on Earth is finished: if you’re alive, it isn’t.
Richard Bach

I was thinking about this and wondering how this applies to the teenager in the wheelchair, unable to lift his head or speak. Or maybe the elderly person lying on the nursing home bed paralyzed by a stroke, knowing what it is they are thinking and what it is they wish to say but unable to speak the correct words so that those around them understand. It’s easy to see a ‘normal’ person and say “you have a mission.” After all, you just look at their talents and their level of education, you look at where they are and how they can improve.

A mission can be found.

What mission could there be for those others less fortunate in life? And then it came to me – their mission is to be who they are because who they are teaches the rest of us who we should be. We should be more nurturing. We learn it by providing for their daily comfort. We should be more giving. They teach us how when we meet their needs. We should be more accepting of others and their faults. They insist that we be that simply because they can’t change who and what they are. They teach us patience when we learn to accept that they cannot hurry. Everyone who has been blessed by their presence, gains character traits that are so sorely needed in this world.  We call these people ‘handicapped’ but in reality, it is we who are handicapped.  We are handicapped by the idea that we can’t complete a mission without doing something.  Yet, it might be that sometimes our mission is simply to be.

August 8th Quote of the Day

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

All I ever really needed to know, I learned in kindergarten.
Robert Fulghum

The older I get the more I realize that I need a little refresher course in kindergarten. You’ve heard of those ‘crusty old men’.  You know, the ones who speak their mind without caring what other people think or how it may affect other people?  There have been occasions where I am a ‘crusty old woman’.  We make jokes and laugh about the people who become like this as they get older. We even envy them just a little their right to talk as they do. After all, they’re old,  so we give them leeway. My concern, as I reach that age and begin to behave in that manner, is that I’ve forgotten the kindergarten teachings.


The ones that say ‘be kind’. I’m not senile enough to have forgotten the ‘don’t hit’ class but I sometimes think I may be hitting with my words. As I walk through the mall or the grocery store, I hear a lot of other people who have forgotten those teachings, too.

I hear a lot of kids who don’t seem to have learned them in kindergarten. Maybe the kids learned them but haven’t had the teachings modeled for them at home. It’s possible they should give remedial kindergarten classes at our local community colleges.


If they did, it might be a good one for me to take.

Someday Mermaids Might be Real

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

Our little redhead has decided to become a mermaid.  Why this mermaid business has such an appeal, I don’t know but it is serious business for her.  She has watched every mermaid show she can find on the internet (we don’t subscribe to cable so the internet is her only option).

  • She has checked YouTube for others with a similar interest and has learned all she can. A few weeks ago, she found someone who had a formula to make you become a mermaid. She tried it but it didn’t work.

She revisited the site a few days ago but I forbid her to try the formula again.  The kitchen just becomes too much of a mess. Besides, I’m not altogether certain she isn’t going to poison herself in her zeal to find just the right formula.

I’ve tried telling her that mermaids aren’t real.  She doesn’t believe me.  Of course, she also doesn’t believe me when I tell her vampires aren’t real. Recently, due to a serious lack of garlic in the house, she opted to cover her bedroom floor near her window with baking powder.  Her reasoning was that baking powder would work in a pinch as a substitute for garlic. That may be why the mermaid potion isn’t working. We might be missing some of the key ingredients and the substitute she is using is less than useful.

Not being a real mermaid hasn’t stopped her from practicing to become one. She has a mermaid costume from Halloween which wasn’t quite what she wanted so she talked grandpa into making her a mermaid fin for her feet. She stuffs both of her legs into one pant leg, puts on her swimming suit top and shoves her feet into the fin.   She can actually move around the house like this!

Psychologists tell us that play is the way children learn. That being the case, I am happy to see some of the things she is learning in spite of the baking soda and the kitchen messes. She is learning to make and pursue her goals. She hasn’t given up in spite of setbacks. She has researched her subject to learn all she can. She has tried experiments and will doubtless try again when I’m not looking. She has the formula written down and I’m sure she will put in some time talking grandpa into taking her to the store to buy the right ingredients. If that doesn’t work, I’m sure she’ll be tweaking that formula with her own little touches. She is learning persistence in the face of failure.

She is practicing her moves for that coming moment when she finally gets it right.

If she can hold onto all that enthusiasm and determination, if she can remember the steps for success she is learning  now, I’m sure we will someday see her achieve whatever it is she sets out to do. I may never have the spices I need when it comes time to cook and grandpa may never stop yelling each time he steps in the kitchen and discovers her latest attempts at perfecting her formula but I am happy to report that our little redhead will someday be top dog at whatever she chooses to do.

May 18 Daily Verse

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

1 John 2:6

He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.


Lord, this task is impossible for us. We are so fallible. We love You but we haven’t yet reached perfection.

We want to walk as You walked. We want to love as you loved. Help us, Lord.  May we show Your love and forgiveness to all we meet today. Help us each day to consciously focus on practicing our walk.  Keep us from quitting when we fail. We tell our children to practice what they are learning until they get it right. Remind us that we are Your children and we need to practice until we get it right.

June 17 Daily Quote

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

The moment one gives close attention to any thing, even a blade of grass it becomes a mysterious, awesome,indescribably magnificent world in itself.

Henry Miller


One of the neat things about daily life is that there are always mysteries surrounding us. There are always new things to learn or see. Next time stress seems to be overwhelming you, take a break. Walk outside and pick a leaf off a tree. Look at it closely. See it’s shape and compare it to a different tree in your yard. If you have a microscope, use it to help you in your study. For just a little while, step outside the problems you face and just marvel at the mysteries of life.


May 14 Quote of the Day

Monday, September 17th, 2012

Whenever we’re afraid, it’s because we don’t know enough. If we understood enough, we would never be afraid.
Earl Nightingale


Remember when you were little how afraid you were to turn off the light because you didn’t know what would be in the dark? Now that you’re older, you realize that the dark has nothing in it that wasn’t there when the light was on. Most of the fears we face as adults – while they seem legitimate and terrifying – are a lot like that darkened room

If we just understood the nature of things a little better, we would know there was nothing to fear.  If you’re facing a challenge that is terrifying you right now, go ahead and turn off the light.


July 8 Daily Quote

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs.
Henry Ford


Remember when you were a child and had been sent to your room to clean it after you and your friends had trashed it thoroughly? Remember how impossible the task seemed? Then your mother came and gave you some instructions.

She would say, first pick up all the dirty clothes. Now pick up the books on the floor.  Now put the toys in the toy box. She kept that up until you were able to do what you had considered impossible. It works the same now in adult life. The desk at the office, the seemingly overwhelming number of things that have to be done before bedtime, can sometimes make us feel like a child with a messy room again. When that happens, start listening to the voice of your inner mother.  Don’t stress.

Just take each task and break it into groups until you have managed to whittle down that pile of work.

June 25 Daily Verse

Sunday, September 9th, 2012

Romans 12:17

Repay no one evil for evil.


It is easy, Lord, to strike out in anger when someone hurts us. It is extremely difficult to control ourselves when this happens.

Father, this is a task that we all have to learn but it isn’t a pleasant lesson. Give us, first, the desire to learn to do good in the face of evil. And, then, Lord, give us the self-control necessary to control our actions when angry.  And, if we could ask for one thing more, give us wisdom to know what the right response should be.



May 10 Quote of the Day

Sunday, September 9th, 2012

Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.
Carl Sagan


Make your life more interesting today. Get up with the idea that you are an explorer looking for that something incredible that wants to be known. Go learn or see something new today. Do something different and see how it makes you feel. Find something incredible that is just waiting to be known!